Hello all. I'm new here and I hope that these boards will provide a good source of help for me in these bad times.
A little background first though. Before this, I was a carefree energetic 20 year old who just went about his day as normal. My day would usually consist of going to college then coming back home to play some games into the night then repeat the cycle the next day. Every now and then I would go to the occasional party and whatnot but in general I was pretty much a carefree spirit. Recently on sunday APR 26 2009, my dad was having symptoms of a stroke while I was asleep. My mom was there but wasn't aware he was having issues walking normally or talking normally because this was in the way early morning hours where we had just woken up from sleep. Once they found out my dad was struggling they took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a blood clot induced stroke SIX hours after the initial attack. I did some research and this ruled out the tPA clot busting drug and I arrived there soon after to be hit hard by this.
I didn't know what to expect, but hoped for the best. My dad is now 62 years old and this is his first stroke. I'm scared to talk to the doctors because for the past 2 days, everytime I talk to them its just to hear some bad news. At first when I arrived there he was awake but couldn't hear us when we talk or focus his attention. He was unable to move the entire right side of his body and face. After they diagnosed him with a stroke, they sent him into the cardiac care unit and began to feed him asprin and other drugs that they said would help. About an hour after the drug feeding, he started to hear us and could pay attention to us. He heard us and from what we believe understood us quite well. He knew how to nod and shake his head but when asked to talk he would say mumbling gibberish words. We thought this was a good sign because he regained a portion of his personality and the ability to see us and understand us quite quickly but the following day the doctors gave me some bad news when I entered the visiting area. They told me that the stroke was quite large. It took out 2/3 of his left cerebrum and atm they're unsure of anything. They also explained something about plague in his neck area. They also showed me the most recent scan of his brain which indicated swelling of the portion that was damaged. Now today I call my mom who is already there and asked if he is improving. She told me it looks like he's getting worst. She said he seems quite tired today and unable to focus his attention and she feels that when he does open his eyes, his vision has been impaired unlike before. He would look in some strange places for no reason. When the doctors ask him to follow their finger, he does so perfectly, but when we ask if he can see, he shakes his head in a no fashion. The doctors confirmed that he is able to see but they decided to give me more bad news like I feared today. Apparently the reason 2/3rd was taken out was because of the fact that 1 of his 4 main arteries which brings the blood to the brain was clotted fully and they can't unclot it in fear that once they unclot it, the brain will be overflowed with sudden blood that he will bleed in his head causing another stroke. They said they will unclot it but not for a couple of months until it heals. They told me that they're very surprised and that we are very lucky that with a stroke this big, my dad is showing less problems than they imagined but they said with a stroke this big, his chances of recovering functions is not looking good.
I'm sad and confused at the moment and unsure of what I should be doing next. My finals are in 2 weeks and I'm unable to do any sort of schoolwork whatsoever. I can't even focus enough to go back to my regular agenda. Eating has become hard on my family and I as well knowing he is in this condition. I can't bare to see him like this and I'm supposed to be strong but I feel like I'm about to break everytime I see him helpless on the bed. So I want to ask others who have been through something similar to this, what are the realistic expectations for this? Should I be hoping for him to ever have movement in his right area again and should I be hoping that he could ever speak again? Also is there anything I personally can do to aid his recovery? I read that music can help him regain vocal abilities. Any information will be much appreciated! Thank you very much for listening.
Stroke of left brain hemisphere can lead to a wide range of speech and language problems.
Patients, often, are unable to move their speech-related muscles to talk properly and, sometimes, even unable to understand the speech.
Short-term memory loss, communicating problems and being slow in identifying matching terms, are additional problems.
Brain swelling is a life-threatening complication following a large brain stroke.
This swelling develops quickly after the stroke, putting pressure on brain tissue, becoming most severe within 3 to 5 days after the stroke, and can cause death.
Another strokes following the initial strokes are also, common complication of brain stroke.
When the doctors were talking about neck plaque, they were probably talking about procedure called carotid endarterectomy (surgeons open up the carotid artery in the neck and scrape out plaque), usually, done for acute stroke, but the procedure has more of a role in preventing recurrent strokes.
Stroke patients require time to regain function and there are stages in the recovery process that can be evident through the use of functional imaging techniques.
Rehabilitation is an ongoing process to maintain and refine skills and could involve working with specialists for months or years after the stroke.
Dear C4H...I feel for you. I really do. My dear Dad, who is now only 66, had a stroke too on Mar. 27/09. He was sent to emergency and stayed in hospital for three weeks. His memory was good, though his vision was doubled, so he wore a patch, alternating on either eye to achieve better vision. He went home (thank God) and was home for nearly two weeks, using a walker and sometimes wheelchair, but basically stronger and still full of personality. Then, almost two weeks after being home, he was very confused and forgetful, so my step-mom brought him back to emerg. where he was admitted again for 5-6 days. They said he had another stroke, although they weren't sure when, because it could have happened shortly after the first but didn't show symptoms until then. Gladly, he went home again and is there now - albeit very confused and doesn't remember much short-term. I had to tell him 3 times in a 13 minute phone conversation that it was my son's First Communion - and that would normally have been an important event to my Dad. I have to mention that I live in Canada and he is in Florida, and I have not had the opportunity to be with him yet. I think although this is a tough time for you, you should spend as much time with him as possible, no matter how hard for you to see. I wish your Dad renewed health, and strength for you and your family. It is a very tough time I'm sure. See if you can talk to your school about rescheduling your agenda. It's understandably a hard time for you to focus on anything else and perhaps you'll get a break. God bless you and your loved ones. I really hope we both get lots more time with our dear Fathers and that we'll all find the strength to get through this.
The main thing I would suggest for you is to visit your dad about 3 times per week. Use short, simple sentences. Tell him about your day. Sit on the affected side and touch him while you are speaking to him. Don't required him to give you answers back (unless he volunteers). Tell him you love him. Every day. Repeat repeat repeat. It will get better. Another part of his brain has to relearn everything. One step at a time, slowly and simply. Don't give up.
Ask your doctors why if 1 out of 4 arteries feeding into the circle of Willis is blocked that caused a stroke. I have a completely blocked right carotid artery and the three other arteries are definitely providing enough blood to my brain. There is no talk of unclogging the artery because the act of unclogging it can send clots into the brain. I only wiped out 1/3 of my right hemisphere but i am recovering pretty well. You need to find a neurologist who is more up-to-date on latest stroke rehabilitation research. Ask your existing doctors what research has been found in the last 10 years. The answer will tell you if you should stay with those doctors.
hi c4h i am so sorry to hear about your dear dad what i will ask you to do is to stay possitive.tell your dad how much you love him but dont forget your mum she is suffering to.my husband had a bad stroke in jan 2008 he was in a coma for 3 weeks.traciostimy he is being fed with a tube into his stomach.could not even breath for himself he was in a nuro hospital for 3 months intensive care for 3 months .then onto a ward.he was then moved to a stroke reabilitation hospital with no affect terry has been home now for 17 months and he is coming on slowley.the doctors told my family and myself that terry would never eat propper food again i feed him with blended food he also drinks from his beaker.never give up always stay possitive.massage his stroke side move his arm hand fingers leg and feet. do this 2 or 3 times a day take his affected hand touch his hair his face his good side tell him what you are touching each time you do this.terry is 61 now i pray each day and thank god he is still here with us take care love anne terry xx